‘Study smarter, not harder’ is advice that floats around a lot when you’re in Year 11 and 12 -- but what does that even mean? And how do you even follow it?
In summary, ‘studying smart’ is making the most of the time you spend studying.
It’s an incredibly important skill, especially since Year 11 and 12 can be very busy and you want to make the best use of your time.
Here are our top tips to help you master smart studying:
1. Make specific and manageable goals.
It’s easy to say that we’re going to complete a practice exam in one sitting, but how many of us actually do it?
It can be daunting to start a task that large, so try and make your goals SMART. You should make them:
Through SMART goal planning, you can break down a 1.5 hour practice exam with 40 marks by thinking of it as keeping to 2 minutes for each mark, which makes studying manageable and overcoming hurdles easier.
2. Study in short and intensive chunks.
It might be tempting to cram the night before a test, but your brain struggles to process all that information in one go and you’ll burn out quickly.
A good way to structure your study is by doing it for 25 minutes before taking a five-minute break after.
Once you do that three more times, you can reward yourself with a longer break.
This strategy, also known as the Pomodoro Technique, can prevent burnout and helps you complete any task, not just studying.
3. Remove all distractions.
Distractions are the easiest form of procrastination, but it’s generally what stops us all from studying effectively.
If distractions are a common barrier, try and study at a desk or a location that you will mainly use for studying.
If you know you spend hours on TikTok or Instagram, put your phone in another room.
We all know that procrastination is tempting when you’re working on a computer, so trying using Self Control to help block you from accessing websites like Netflix and YouTube for a set amount of time.
While there are a lot of great study tips out there, we hope these three steps make picking up that notebook and pen easier and we encourage you to find what study strategy works best for you.
Good luck! And happy studying!
Words by Xenia Sanut